Set up a Restroom Trailer

With the growth of the use of restroom trailers rather than plastic potties for special events it is important to know how to set up a restroom trailer for your event. This article will review how to set up a restroom trailer for an event, including scouting the location, delivering the trailer and connecting to utilities.


  1. Choose an appropriate size. The size of the trailer you will need will be determined by the number of estimated people who will attend the event, how long the event will run and whether food and beverages will be served. Restroom trailers are normally sized in terms of number of “stations”. This is the number of toilets and urinals that can be used at the same time. For example if a restroom trailer has 4 toilet stalls for both males and females and 2 urinals this would be a 6 “station” restroom trailer. Along with number of stations the physical outside dimensions should also be considered to determine if you event has space for the restroom trailer.
  2. Determine the size of restroom trailer (stations required) for your event. With an expected attendance of 100 people for the 4 hour event a 2 station should be sufficient to accommodate the crowd. Any more than 100 and any longer in length of the event and a larger restroom trailer is suggested. As another example would be an event of 250 to 500 guests for 6 hours. This event would normally require 6 stations. Again, if the event is longer than 6 hours or if alcohol is served it is recommended that more restroom stations are offered.
  3. Decide on the features. All will have the ability to connect an external fresh water source to the trailer. All will have the ability to have a large waste holding tank. And all will need to have access to an electrical supply source. The amenities of the restroom trailer may vary greatly from trailer to trailer.
  4. Plan where the restroom trailer will be located at the event. Will a towing truck be able to access the location? Is there a maintained road to the site? Will rain or bad weather change the road to the site? Is the access clear of narrow gates, trees and obstacles? Ideally, you need to have a level ground with access that is not obstructed with low hanging branches, low hanging power lines or fencing. A location should be chosen where the guests can see and get to the trailer easily but without taking away from the events appearance. Don’t forget to allow enough room for the steps to the trailer to be set up. For long-term rentals, placement is important for servicing and pick-up. A service truck must be able to get within {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} of the drain valve on the trailers.
  5. Make sure there is an adequate electrical source. Restroom trailers require electricity to run their lights, heating, air conditioning and pressure pumps for water. The larger the trailer the more electric that may be required to operate the trailer.Additionally, if the trailer is going to be used in the cold weather of winter it may be equipped with tank and room heaters which require additional electrical circuits.Larger models usually require two to four 20-amp circuits; in remote locations, a generator can be used to power the trailer. Smaller models require one or two 20-30 amp circuits for power.
  6. Some trailers are completely self-contained for their water supply, but some do require a garden hose hook-up which is normally a ¾” line and require to have 40psi of pressure, while other restroom trailers can increase their capacity with a hookup. Even though locating these mobile restroom trailers near sewer or water hookups is convenient and less expensive, it is not absolutely necessary. Water can be trucked in and waste holding tanks that can contain up to {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} of water are available for rent along with the units.
  7. Tow the restroom trailer to your event. When renting a restroom trailer the restroom trailer provider normally will deliver the trailer to your desired location. The rental company will normally include delivery of the trailer as part of the rental fee but may charge extra for excessive distance for the delivery. If it is necessary to tow the trailer yourself if is important to know some of the basics of towing. It begins with having the proper sized tow vehicle. The trailer will have two very important weight indicators on a federal sticker located on the exterior of the trailer. By reviewing this sticker you can determine the actual weight of the trailer and the maximum weight the trailer is capable of hauling with cargo on board. The only normal cargo weight of major consequence for a restroom trailer is the weight of the waste and water inside of the tanks.
    • The UVW (unloaded vehicle weight) is the actual weight of the trailer without any water or waste weight. This UVW is sometimes referred to as the “curb weight”. Your truck must have as a minimum the ability to tow this listed weight. On average a restroom trailer may weigh 6000 lbs. This would require at least a ¾ ton sized truck to tow the trailer.
    • The other important weight listed on trailer is the maximum weight of the trailer. This is the GVWR (Gross vehicle weight rating) and refers to the maximum weight the frame structure, tire and axles are designed to carry.
    • This is confusing some times because this weight included the UVW which the amount the trailer weighs along with the cargo weight. So for example if a trailer weighs 6000 lbs as listed in the federal sticker on the side of the trailer and the GVW rating is 10,000 lbs, the maximum the cargo that the trailer could carry is 4,000 lbs. With water weight of 8.33 pounds per gallon the maximum gallons of weight the trailer could carry is {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} of waste.
  8. Truck Towing Requirements. Another key component of your towing vehicle is the hitch. Most truck bumpers are not capable of carrying the hitch weight of the normal restroom trailer and require a professionally installed towing hitch. See a professional hitch installer. All trailers are equipped with some type of braking system. The most common is the electric brakes. To operate this braking it requires your towing truck to have an electrical brake system to be installed in your truck. This brake controller on your truck operates in conjunction with the brakes on the truck so that as you push the brake peddle on your truck it activates the electric brakes on the trailer. Most restroom trailers are equipped with heating and air conditioning. For cold climates, some of our equipment is fully winterized to ensure proper function even in freezing weather.
  9. Other items to consider in renting and setting up a restroom trailer are:
    • Who is responsible for the cleaning of the interior of the restroom trailer if the event is longer than one day
    • Who is responsible for having the waste tank pumped once it becomes full
    • Will insurance coverage be required
    • Will an attendant need to be at the restroom trailer during events to handle any potential issues